Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And then there were 11...

One of the chickens died :-(

The deceased was the smallest one of the flock and the others, especially the rooster, kept attacking her. Plus she was either not all there mentally, blind or was sick -- something was really wrong with her. So I separated her from the others so they would stop bugging her and she died the next day. The others all look very healthy, so I'm hoping it was just a fluke. Oh well, that's why I got so many to begin with.

Laura's friend Doug assembled up her 48" LeClerc Nilus floor loom in the new craft room! I warped it with a really narrow (like 12") warp and am attempting rag-rug style potholder/trivets. Here is Doug with the loom (whatta guy!):

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Camp will be over on Friday -- It's been fun for the most part, though a challenging group of kids to work with last week and low enrollment this week. When we picked these dates last November, who would have guessed that we would have a record number of snowdays? Kids are just getting out of school now and don't want to go immediately to summer camp, I'm guessing. Tomorrow I have six kids and a watercolor artist coming to teach them about painting, so it should be fun.

Yesterday evening at work (after snitching a few ripe strawberries out of the garden) I watched a great blue heron fly in over the pond and land on the TOP of a tall white pine tree, flapping for a while to keep its balance (I didn't know they would land way up there). I also saw an older fawn running across the field and aerobatic barn swallows catching insects. The setting sun last night was salmon-red-orange and huge on the horizon, and just beautiful. It was a great evening.
And just because, here is another shot from my Alaska trip in 2003. This is the view from the small island we stayed on in the Kachemack bay (looking east) :

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Summer is here!

After all this weird weather, hot/cold, wet/dry (really just extended New England spring) I have proof that it's now officially summer:
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Mmmm! Out for a walk this evening I discovered a whole hillside full of wild strawberries!
The peas have started climbing:
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And all else seems very well in the garden.
The chickens are huge! Here is the latest group shot...posing for a photo was decidedly not in their immediate interest because they were busying themselves with the vegetable cuttings which had just been tossed in. Lots of happy clucking sounds. The lighter colored one at center stage is dubbed "French Vanilla" and is likely a rooster.
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We also seem to be having a major frog problem around here....
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A belated birthday present courtesy of Mom...I had seen them for kids, but never in a size 10. Thanks Mom!
Finally, thank you all for your kind words about Haylie.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Bye Haylie...

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Haylie had two more seizures the night before last so Mom et. al. decided it was time to call Matt (the neighbor vet) and have him come put her to sleep. She's buried in the field at home with Annie & Ben. It really was time, though. She had been going downhill so fast -- when I saw her the other day she was almost nothing like her energetic, playful old self anymore. We'll miss her -- a lot.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The last few days...

It's been hot. It's frustrating when it is way too hot to be outside and be comfortable. What I wouldn't give to be back in Alaska with the icebergs sometimes (I went for 3 weeks in 2003):

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The cats thought it was hot, too. A rather melted-looking Twilly is pictured below throwing inhibition to the wind yesterday when it was a muggy 85 degrees in the house! Today it rained and has cooled off A LOT (it's supposedly around 50 degrees right now...ahhhhh....)

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I spun some more of my Cormo. Knitting of a Pi Shawl has commenced!

Sunday we attended my step-sister Cady's wedding in Sugar Hill (northern NH). It also happened to be the weekend of the Lupine Festival in Sugar Hill, and the lupines were in full bloom, so despite being hot and muggy, everything was just ten times lovelier than usual. The reception was at the Sunset Hill House which has a gorgeous view of Franconia notch. This is the church where they got married, lupines & all:

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And today Nancy (my boss) and I went to Boston to the USS Constitution Museum for a conference on family learning sponsored by the New England Museum Association. Lots of great ideas for what we can do at the Village with our fledgling family learning programs. Back to work tomorrow -- I may be incommunicado for the next couple of weeks as June 20 starts two weeks of camp!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sheep pics

Forgive me for my lack of being around this week. I've been pretty busy and to top it off, I found out this morning that my boss is resigning effective next Friday.

People want sheep shots. Well, here is the one picture I could get before my digital camera ran out of battery power:

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They are Scottish Blackface sheep -- wethers. Their names, tentatively, are Piggy/Hoover, Spot & Butt (as in the one who head-butts everyone else). Don't blame me, I didn't name them...Yesterday they were released from their little pen into the great wide open orchard (7 acres) to graze. When it came time to put them back in the pen at the end of the day, they could not be found. Eventually the sneaky little guys turned up in the chicken coop (also in the orchard) eating the chicken food with wild abandon! They managed to squeeze themselves in through the slightly-larger-than-normal chicken door. Today they were observed chasing the chickens through the orchard...The antics, I tell ya.

My chickens are well, growing like weeds, and really into chasing bugs.

I went to the Fiber Studio on Tuesday morning to take my class project shawl off the loom since I missed class last Tuesday evening. It's almost done now except for twisting and tying the fringe on one end. Lots of other little projects here and there -- still working on the Flower Basket shawl with the yarn Dana at work brought me from France, a little Kimono shawl design scarf of eggplant colored Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and I also joined the Branching Out Knit Along and have started a scarf with some umbilicaria lichen (purple) dyed handspun Shetland. I've also been trying to find time to spin my Cormo, which I have plans to knit into a Pi Shawl of some sort.

Thunderstorms tonight.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Remembering Grandma...

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Jean Crowell Dunham
(June 11, 1922 - June 2, 2004)
Grandma died one year ago today. I was so fortunate to have been down to the Cape to see her the week before she died, though we were not expecting to lose her. Right after her death, and now over the last year, I have been thinking especially about the many perfectly normal little things she did, as she did every day, that were representative of her strength, selflessness, patience, wisdom, thoughtfulness, and grace: We planted flowers in memory of deceased relatives down at the cemetery; she put out pressed linen napkins for dinner and was sure the bean salad was served in the "right" bowl; we picked out flowers for her window boxes; she wove a lattice top crust for a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie with meticulous care -- her way of communicating how much she loved those around her.
Because of all these quiet things, her very being, she was a great teacher to us all, perhaps, I've been realizing, the greatest teacher I've ever had. She was also one of my best friends. I am extremely lucky to have been able to share as much time with her as I did.

The sheep have arrived!

Today we got sheep (older lambs, really) at the Village! Three little guys of unknown heritage (I'll have to do some research) -- they are mostly white with black faces (with white splotches) and black feet (with white splotches) and have horns. Michael & I sat in the pen for a while trying to make friends with them. A little timid at first, but a handful of sheep kibble helped break the ice. One was definitely more piggy than the others! Another one is definitely more fiesty, initiating several head-butts to her buddies. They are currently being pastured in the orchard, which is enclosed. These are the first farm animals, other than chickens, to live there for decades. It's so exciting!